Posted: 12/1/2021 | Print Friendly Version

Date: Dec. 1, 2021

Contact: Missouri Botanical Garden Public Relations

Dept. Phone: (314) 577-0286 office (media use only)

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For Immediate Release


Grant will allow Garden to grow outdoor learning program for urban children


(ST. LOUIS) A recent grant from the PNC Foundation will allow the Missouri Botanical Garden to grow an early childhood education program that promotes nature-based learning for urban children ages 3-6.


The $30,000 grant will enable the Garden to expand Sprouting Science, which aims to spark deep, lifelong connections between children and the living world, while helping them cultivate emerging STEM skills. Specifically, the Garden will double the reach of Sprouting Science to include 20 early childhood provider sites, representative of 50 teachers and 750 students. The program, which has been in place for more than a decade, empowers teachers to incorporate outdoor learning into their curriculum.


The program is funded by the PNC Foundation in support of PNC Grow Up Great®, a bilingual $500 million, multi-year initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life.


“The PNC funding supports one of our primary objectives, which is to bring age-appropriate, nature-based, experiential learning opportunities to the community,” said Matthew Magoc, manager, school programs and partnerships, at the Garden. “This funding increases our ability to bring fun, interactive activities and spaces to early learners and their educators so they can more easily explore the environment around them with curiosity and support.”


Participating teachers will benefit from workshops focused on incorporating nature-rich outdoor experiences into their curriculum and creating simple landscaping projects for their respective schools.


“Outdoor learning is beneficial to early childhood education, as it encourages motor skills development, inquiry, exploration, experimentation and connection with the living world,” said Michael Scully, PNC regional president for St. Louis. “The Missouri Botanical Garden is

uniquely positioned to deliver a distinctive and impactful learning experience to children, families and educators, and PNC looks forward to being part of this continued journey.”


Educators, caregivers and parents of children at participating early childhood provider sites also will be invited to a free Family Night at the Garden, affording increased access to nature-based community engagement and encouraging family involvement in outdoor learning experiences.

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The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group (, actively supports organizations that provide services for the benefit of communities in which it has a significant presence. The foundation focuses its philanthropic mission on early childhood education and community and economic development, which includes the arts and culture. Through Grow Up Great, its signature cause that began in 2004, PNC has created a bilingual $500 million, multi-year initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life. For more information, visit


The Missouri Botanical Garden’s mission is “to discover and share knowledge about plants and their environment in order to preserve and enrich life.” Today, 162 years after opening, the Missouri Botanical Garden is a National Historic Landmark and a center for science, conservation, education and horticultural display.